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ROOSTER VERY CLEARLY PLAYS ROLE IN NEST SITE SELECTION

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by centrarchid, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have been watching several groups / harems of chickens. Some are free range and some are in breeding pens. I have been noticing with caged birds the rooster places himself in locations the hen will ultimately lay in and carries on with a vocalization that he makes only then. He seems to do this only once per hen per breeding effort. The hen more often than not then lays eggs in that location starting that or following day and proceeds to lay entire clutch over following days. Rooster does not enter nest again. Somehow rooster knows when hen is getting ready to lay first egg of a clutch. Another thing observed with free ranging group is that if eggs in a nest to do not belong to harem, then rooster destroys clutch by rolling them out and away from nest. If broken during process he and hen with him consume contents. This occurs even with free-range birds nest under log in field. Rooster also appears to know which clutches belong to his group based on this.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  2. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida

    That's interesting. I have seen mine in the nest boxes and figured he was trying to convince somebody to lay there. I noticed my tolbunt roo standing guard at the end of some wooden sash windows I have propped against a wall on the porch. I looked under the lean to and his hen was in there and stayed awhile while he was at entrance guarding. She hasn't however laid an egg yet but I figure she should soon. Rolling eggs out that didn't belong to his mating makes sense doesn't it. Would be interesting to know how he knows which are his and which are not.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I do not think he knows which eggs are his. It is either his entire clutch or not. Maybehe knows which nests sites his hens are using and only accepts contents if he checks site first to be clear of eggs.
     
  4. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah, misread you.
     

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